PM says to ‘get ready’ for no EU trade deal
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that the UK must prepare not to agree a trade deal with the European Union, stating that trading arrangements are likely to be “more like Australia’s” from 1 January.
He added that without a “fundamental” change of direction from the EU, the two sides would fail to achieve a post-Brexit economic partnership.
While both sides have indicated they want to carry on negotiations, the UK have set a meeting for Thursday in order to decide whether it was worth continuing talks.
Confirming the current situation, Boris Johnson said:
“Given that they (the EU) have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months, I have concluded we should get ready for 1 January with arrangements more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.
“So now is the time for our businesses to get ready, and for hauliers to get ready, and for travellers to get ready.
“For whatever reason it is clear from the summit that after 45 years of membership they are not willing – unless there is some fundamental change of approach – to offer this country the same terms as Canada.
“And so with high hearts and complete confidence we will prepare to embrace the alternative.”
Earlier this year, the UK and the EU reached an agreement that the end of October was the deadline for a deal to be achieved.
But on 7 September, the PM decided to shorten the deadline, stating that if a deal could not be achieved by the 15th, “then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on”.
If a deal is not made, the UK will be forced to trade with the EU according to the rules set by the World Trade Organization.